- Furries stop domestic assault in viral video Wednesday 6:10 PM
- Gritty under police investigation for allegedly punching a teen fan Wednesday 6:04 PM
- Twitter users throw animal parties with emoji in new meme Wednesday 5:21 PM
- Woman who went viral supporting Soleimani killing exposed as Libyan militia lobbyist Wednesday 5:01 PM
- Jeff Bezos subtweets Saudi prince following phone hack report Wednesday 3:29 PM
- ‘Yeah, good. OK’ Bernie Sanders meme is a new way to dismiss people Wednesday 3:10 PM
- ‘Vanderpump Rules’ recap: Petty displays of affection Wednesday 2:12 PM
- Makeup artist transforms into Timothée Chalamet on TikTok Wednesday 1:54 PM
- Iguanas are falling from trees—and people are selling them online for food Wednesday 1:02 PM
- 75,000 sign petition to fire Wendy Williams after ‘cleft lip’ comment about Joaquin Phoenix Wednesday 12:30 PM
- Kim Kardashian says Kylie Jenner’s setting spray is ‘cheap sh*t’ Wednesday 11:59 AM
- Trump continues to demand Apple unlock iPhones for the government Wednesday 11:46 AM
- Police officer suspended after video of a handcuffed Delonte West surfaces Wednesday 11:33 AM
- ‘Girls don’t want a boyfriend’ meme leaves boyfriends in 2019 Wednesday 11:21 AM
- Are these tweets about ‘The Bachelor’ or Trump’s impeachment? Wednesday 10:45 AM
The 15 most popular Daily Dot stories of 2013
We stayed up all night to get lucky.
Virality is a cruel mistress.
Just when you think you have it all figured out, the momentum shifts, the algorithm changes, and you’re left right back where you started, fumbling with search-engine optimization. Web traffic’s volatile and at times painfully arbitrary, blossoming or trailing off in completely unexpected ways.
At the Daily Dot, we spend a great deal of time strategizing not only about the types of stories we’re going to pursue—the deeply reported investigative pieces, the engaging portraits of the Internet famous, the breaking news, and quick-hit oddities from around the Web—but how we’re going to get them in front of our intended audience.
It’s a frustrating but necessary exercise, a cycle that never quite ends and is constantly being reevaluated. For that rare combination of timing, exclusivity, and keyword magic is fleeting at best, and sometimes the needed signal boost from social traffic drivers and content curators like Digg, Fark, and Reddit just never arrives, no matter how many tips and tweets you send.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case for these 15 stories—our most successful, organic posts from the past year. It’s an interesting cross-sampling of both the Daily Dot’s coverage and our traffic sources, driven alternatively by Reddit spikes, Google search, link referrals, and Facebook shares.
Sometimes, you just get lucky.
For a look at some of our 25 favorite stories from 2013, check out our accompanying list of must-read features.
1) “Everyone saw the biracial Cheerios commercial, but kids saw it differently” by Gaby Dunn
July 15 | 3.1M
2) “4chan’s fake Xbox One instructions convince users to brick their systems” by Aja Romano
Dec. 7 | 881K
3) “This homeless veteran’s incredible transformation will leave you speechless” by Michelle Jaworski
Nov. 7 | 750K
5) “Samsung’s response to a customer whose phone caught fire only made things worse” by Miles Klee
Dec. 9 | 558K
7) “Here’s the best way to torture people who won’t get off their dang phones” by Michelle Jaworski
Dec. 16 | 411K
8) “#Slanegirl: How the Internet turned a girl’s Eminem concert into a nightmare” by Aja Romano
Aug. 19 | 355K
9) “This dude is about to change the way you hear drums” by Chase Hoffberger
Dec. 6 | 300K
10) “Here’s a new Cheerios commercial, made just for the haters” by Michelle Jaworski
June 14 | 271K
11) “Reddit raises $10,000 for Atlanta mall manager after taser video goes viral” by Fernando Alfonso III
Feb. 1 | 257K
13) “Dudes on Reddit turn gym shorts into cute, form-fitting dresses” by Fernando Alfonso III
Sept. 9 | 226K
14) “10-year-old scores felony charge through ‘Minecraft’” by Mike Fenn
Nov. 12 | 219K
15) “I asked the NSA for its file on me, and here’s what I got back” by Kevin Collier
Aug. 16 | 211K
Photo by Gonmi/Flickr remix (remix by Jason Reed)
Austin Powell is the former managing editor of the Daily Dot. His work focuses on the intersection of entertainment and technology. He previously served as a music columnist for the Austin Chronicle and is the co-author of The Austin Chronicle Music Anthology.